Thursday, January 15, 2004
David Frum On Hamas And Feminism

The young mother who orphaned her two children as she killed herself and four others in a suicide bombing yesterday receives some attention from David Frum today:

One question that immediately comes to mind: What happened to the suicide-bomber's husband? According to early news reports, Raiyshi was married. Yet while she swears in her suicide video that she loved her soon-to-be orphaned three-year-old and 18-month-year-old, she had nothing to say about their father.

Is he alive? While the 800 or so Israeli casualties since September 2000 have mostly been women and children, the overwhelming majority of the 2000-plus Palestinian casualties have been men of military age. Yet one has to think that if Reem al-Raiyshi's husband numbered among the casualties of Arafat's terror war, his devoted widow would have mentioned him.

Is he a prisoner? Again, one would think that al-Raiyshi might have had a word or two to say.

So how to explain why he went unmentioned? Might he have divorced and abandoned her under Islamic law - and, still following that law, taken custody of her children? If so, could her abandonment and shame and the loss of her children [partly] explain her willingness to kill and die? Could the twisted imaginations of the local Hamas chiefs have pointed suicide-murder out to her as a solution to her problems - a way to erase the shame of being discarded, a way to redeem herself in the eyes of her family, a way to acquire glory in the eyes of her children, and even a way to earn them some money: for Saudi money still continues to flow to the families of suicide bombers.
Read the whole thing.
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